GB2563836A - Electrical plug security cover - Google Patents

Electrical plug security cover Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2563836A
GB2563836A GB1710131.2A GB201710131A GB2563836A GB 2563836 A GB2563836 A GB 2563836A GB 201710131 A GB201710131 A GB 201710131A GB 2563836 A GB2563836 A GB 2563836A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
security cover
plug
electrical
cover according
electrical plug
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB1710131.2A
Other versions
GB201710131D0 (en
GB2563836B (en
Inventor
Brodie Colling Simon
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Oxford University Innovation Ltd
Original Assignee
Oxford University Innovation Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Oxford University Innovation Ltd filed Critical Oxford University Innovation Ltd
Priority to GB1710131.2A priority Critical patent/GB2563836B/en
Publication of GB201710131D0 publication Critical patent/GB201710131D0/en
Priority to JP2019572778A priority patent/JP2020526176A/en
Priority to US16/623,761 priority patent/US10950075B2/en
Priority to PCT/IB2018/054698 priority patent/WO2019003101A1/en
Priority to GB1913710.8A priority patent/GB2575375B/en
Priority to GB2015973.7A priority patent/GB2586407B/en
Priority to CN201880055235.7A priority patent/CN111542981A/en
Priority to EP18756483.6A priority patent/EP3646429A1/en
Priority to GB1913711.6A priority patent/GB2575572B/en
Priority to GB1912964.2A priority patent/GB2574163C/en
Publication of GB2563836A publication Critical patent/GB2563836A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2563836B publication Critical patent/GB2563836B/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00 - H01R33/00
    • H01R13/62Means for facilitating engagement or disengagement of coupling parts or for holding them in engagement
    • H01R13/639Additional means for holding or locking coupling parts together, after engagement, e.g. separate keylock, retainer strap
    • H01R13/6397Additional means for holding or locking coupling parts together, after engagement, e.g. separate keylock, retainer strap with means for preventing unauthorised use
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual registration on entry or exit
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C9/00563Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys using personal physical data of the operator, e.g. finger prints, retinal images, voicepatterns
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00 - H01R33/00
    • H01R13/66Structural association with built-in electrical component
    • H01R13/665Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in electronic circuit
    • H01R13/6675Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in electronic circuit with built-in power supply
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00 - H01R33/00
    • H01R13/66Structural association with built-in electrical component
    • H01R13/665Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in electronic circuit
    • H01R13/6683Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in electronic circuit with built-in sensor
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00 - H01R33/00
    • H01R13/66Structural association with built-in electrical component
    • H01R13/665Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in electronic circuit
    • H01R13/6691Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in electronic circuit with built-in signalling means
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00 - H01R33/00
    • H01R13/66Structural association with built-in electrical component
    • H01R13/70Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in switch
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00 - H01R33/00
    • H01R13/66Structural association with built-in electrical component
    • H01R13/717Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in light source
    • H01R13/7175Light emitting diodes (LEDs)
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R9/00Structural associations of a plurality of mutually-insulated electrical connecting elements, e.g. terminal strips or terminal blocks; Terminals or binding posts mounted upon a base or in a case; Bases therefor
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J3/00Circuit arrangements for ac mains or ac distribution networks
    • H02J3/12Circuit arrangements for ac mains or ac distribution networks for adjusting voltage in ac networks by changing a characteristic of the network load
    • H02J3/14Circuit arrangements for ac mains or ac distribution networks for adjusting voltage in ac networks by changing a characteristic of the network load by switching loads on to, or off from, network, e.g. progressively balanced loading
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06VIMAGE OR VIDEO RECOGNITION OR UNDERSTANDING
    • G06V40/00Recognition of biometric, human-related or animal-related patterns in image or video data
    • G06V40/10Human or animal bodies, e.g. vehicle occupants or pedestrians; Body parts, e.g. hands
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06VIMAGE OR VIDEO RECOGNITION OR UNDERSTANDING
    • G06V40/00Recognition of biometric, human-related or animal-related patterns in image or video data
    • G06V40/10Human or animal bodies, e.g. vehicle occupants or pedestrians; Body parts, e.g. hands
    • G06V40/12Fingerprints or palmprints
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06VIMAGE OR VIDEO RECOGNITION OR UNDERSTANDING
    • G06V40/00Recognition of biometric, human-related or animal-related patterns in image or video data
    • G06V40/10Human or animal bodies, e.g. vehicle occupants or pedestrians; Body parts, e.g. hands
    • G06V40/12Fingerprints or palmprints
    • G06V40/1365Matching; Classification
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06VIMAGE OR VIDEO RECOGNITION OR UNDERSTANDING
    • G06V40/00Recognition of biometric, human-related or animal-related patterns in image or video data
    • G06V40/10Human or animal bodies, e.g. vehicle occupants or pedestrians; Body parts, e.g. hands
    • G06V40/16Human faces, e.g. facial parts, sketches or expressions
    • G06V40/172Classification, e.g. identification
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00 - H01R33/00
    • H01R13/66Structural association with built-in electrical component
    • H01R13/70Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in switch
    • H01R13/701Structural association with built-in electrical component with built-in switch the switch being actuated by an accessory, e.g. cover, locking member
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R24/00Two-part coupling devices, or either of their cooperating parts, characterised by their overall structure
    • H01R24/66Two-part coupling devices, or either of their cooperating parts, characterised by their overall structure with pins, blades or analogous contacts and secured to apparatus or structure, e.g. to a wall
    • H01R24/70Two-part coupling devices, or either of their cooperating parts, characterised by their overall structure with pins, blades or analogous contacts and secured to apparatus or structure, e.g. to a wall with additional earth or shield contacts
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R24/00Two-part coupling devices, or either of their cooperating parts, characterised by their overall structure
    • H01R24/76Two-part coupling devices, or either of their cooperating parts, characterised by their overall structure with sockets, clips or analogous contacts and secured to apparatus or structure, e.g. to a wall
    • H01R24/78Two-part coupling devices, or either of their cooperating parts, characterised by their overall structure with sockets, clips or analogous contacts and secured to apparatus or structure, e.g. to a wall with additional earth or shield contacts
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R25/00Coupling parts adapted for simultaneous co-operation with two or more identical counterparts, e.g. for distributing energy to two or more circuits
    • H01R25/006Coupling parts adapted for simultaneous co-operation with two or more identical counterparts, e.g. for distributing energy to two or more circuits the coupling part being secured to apparatus or structure, e.g. duplex wall receptacle
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R31/00Coupling parts supported only by co-operation with counterpart
    • H01R31/06Intermediate parts for linking two coupling parts, e.g. adapter
    • H01R31/065Intermediate parts for linking two coupling parts, e.g. adapter with built-in electric apparatus
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J2310/00The network for supplying or distributing electric power characterised by its spatial reach or by the load
    • H02J2310/10The network having a local or delimited stationary reach
    • H02J2310/12The local stationary network supplying a household or a building
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J2310/00The network for supplying or distributing electric power characterised by its spatial reach or by the load
    • H02J2310/10The network having a local or delimited stationary reach
    • H02J2310/12The local stationary network supplying a household or a building
    • H02J2310/14The load or loads being home appliances
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B70/00Technologies for an efficient end-user side electric power management and consumption
    • Y02B70/30Systems integrating technologies related to power network operation and communication or information technologies for improving the carbon footprint of the management of residential or tertiary loads, i.e. smart grids as climate change mitigation technology in the buildings sector, including also the last stages of power distribution and the control, monitoring or operating management systems at local level
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B70/00Technologies for an efficient end-user side electric power management and consumption
    • Y02B70/30Systems integrating technologies related to power network operation and communication or information technologies for improving the carbon footprint of the management of residential or tertiary loads, i.e. smart grids as climate change mitigation technology in the buildings sector, including also the last stages of power distribution and the control, monitoring or operating management systems at local level
    • Y02B70/3225Demand response systems, e.g. load shedding, peak shaving
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02B90/20Smart grids as enabling technology in buildings sector
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y04INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES HAVING AN IMPACT ON OTHER TECHNOLOGY AREAS
    • Y04SSYSTEMS INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO POWER NETWORK OPERATION, COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING THE ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION, MANAGEMENT OR USAGE, i.e. SMART GRIDS
    • Y04S20/00Management or operation of end-user stationary applications or the last stages of power distribution; Controlling, monitoring or operating thereof
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y04INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES HAVING AN IMPACT ON OTHER TECHNOLOGY AREAS
    • Y04SSYSTEMS INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO POWER NETWORK OPERATION, COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING THE ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION, MANAGEMENT OR USAGE, i.e. SMART GRIDS
    • Y04S20/00Management or operation of end-user stationary applications or the last stages of power distribution; Controlling, monitoring or operating thereof
    • Y04S20/20End-user application control systems
    • Y04S20/222Demand response systems, e.g. load shedding, peak shaving
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y04INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES HAVING AN IMPACT ON OTHER TECHNOLOGY AREAS
    • Y04SSYSTEMS INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO POWER NETWORK OPERATION, COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING THE ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION, MANAGEMENT OR USAGE, i.e. SMART GRIDS
    • Y04S20/00Management or operation of end-user stationary applications or the last stages of power distribution; Controlling, monitoring or operating thereof
    • Y04S20/20End-user application control systems
    • Y04S20/242Home appliances

Abstract

An electrical plug security cover 100 controls the use of an electrical appliance powered by mains electricity. The plug (200, Fig 3) of the appliance is locked in an enclosure (5) of the cover, and is connected to pins 13, 131, 132 of the cover either on receipt of a wireless signal or when a local override is used. The lock may also only be opened by an authorised user, and may comprise a key slot 42 which is only accessible when the cover is removed from a wall socket. The local override may be a biometric identifier such as a fingerprint reader.

Description

ELECTRICAL PLUG SECURITY COVER
Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to electrical plug security covers for electrical appliances which are powered by mains electricity. More specifically it relates to plug security covers to operate the electrical appliances via a network such as the internet.
Background
Electrical appliances which use mains electricity have been manufactured for nearly a century. There are many homes, offices, factories, and workshops having electrical appliances manufactured before the advent of the Internet. These appliances cannot be conveniently integrated into systems using the Internet to monitor and control devices.
Prior Art
People have already recognized the need to be able to monitor and control legacy appliances on modern networks. One prior art that proposes using a security cover plug to do so includes publication CN 106025726 (Li Wei Li Xue). The plug of the legacy appliance is simply plugged into the security cover plug which include a wireless network communicator.
Lock box devices exist for use with appliance plugs to prevent children or others from accidents with electrical appliances or too much use of appliances such as game consoles. One example is described in US 9039524 (Paul DiCarlo, Robert F Rioux). Other examples are referred to in GB 2310323 (John Victor Laverick, Edward Mark Wakelin). These devices allow a parent or overseer to lock the plug for use.
However, in the modern Internet age a parent or overseer requires a means to control legacy appliances via the Internet, and they require confidence that the appliance can only be used under their control even if they require control or monitoring of usage of the appliance from a great distance via a network such as the internet.
Summary of the Invention
According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided an electrical plug security cover for an appliance plug including: a lockable enclosure which entraps the plug; at least two electrical tines which insert into an electrical recess to connect to an electricity supply; an identification means which identifies the plug security cover in a network; a wireless network communicator which relays a command signal to a switch that operates in response to the command signal to electrically connect and disconnect the plug to/from the tines; a local override device that overrides the command signal and an authorization means that authorizes a local user, wherein the local override device is operative to connect and disconnect the plug to/from the tines when the user is an authorized user.
Preferably the lockable closure comprises an on/off indicator that indicates that the authorization unit has authorized the user and turned the switch on. Preferably the on/off indicator is a second light fixed to or arranged to shine through the moulded polymeric unit. Preferably the indicator is a device arranged to work with the communicator to send the user via the network or wi-fi an indication that the authorization unit has authorized the user and turned the switch on. Preferably the on/off indicator may likewise indicate the user is not authorized.
Preferably the local override device connects and disconnects the plug to/from the tines only when the user is an authorized user.
Preferably the authorization means includes a biometric feature identifier and authorizes the local user only when identified by the biometric feature.
Preferably the biometric feature identifier comprises a fingerprint identifier and reader comprising a touch surface on an exterior portion of the security cover accessible while the tines are inserted into the recess.
Preferably the biometric feature identifier comprises a voice identifier and detector comprising a microphone to detect sound through an opening in the security cover while the tines are inserted into the recess.
Preferably the authorization means includes a keypad on the security cover and authorizes the local user only when identified by a code typed in on the keypad.
Preferably the local override mechanism may comprise an electronic mechanism, such as a biometric mechanism or comprising a near field communications (NFC) operating override mechanism, or comprising a Bluetooth (RTM) proximity recognition mechanism for a paired electronic device or key.
Preferably the form of the electrical plug security cover when enclosed around the plug is like that of the plug with the electrical cable of the plug trailing out of the lockable enclosure. Advantageously the electrical cable of the appliance with the electrical plug security cover has the same versatility to reach from the plug to an electrical recess in a wall, floor, ceiling, or extension electrical cable, as the electrical cable has without the electrical plug security cover.
Advantageously an appliance with its plug secured within the electrical plug security cover is enabled to be switched on or off by a user’s device in communication with the network when the user’s device has the identification code and the authorization code. The appliance is also enabled to be switched on or off directly by a user who uses the authorization means such as the fingerprint reader, voice identifier, other biometric feature identifier, or a keypad.
Advantageously a plurality of appliances can be switched on and off together or in specific groups via a remote device in communication with the network.
Preferably the local override device locks and unlocks the lockable enclosure for entry and removal of the plug from the security cover only when the user is authorized.
For example, preferably the fingerprint reader is arranged to lock and unlock the lockable enclosure for entry and removal of the plug from the security cover. Advantageously, a person with a fingerprint recognizable via the fingerprint reader can secure and remove the plug without need of a device with access to network.
Preferably the electrical plug may only be released by operation of the override device, for example with use of the biometric feature identifier such as the fingerprint reader, to unlock the lockable enclosure. Advantageously a parent or other overseer who has programmed the fingerprint to recognize their fingerprint can prevent a child or another from releasing the plug and plugging the plug directly into a plug recess to operate an appliance. Preferably the fingerprint reader is only programmable to recognize a fingerprint by use of the authorization code.
Preferably the communicator relays the command signal to the switch only when the user is authorized. The local user may authorize the communicator to relay the command signal so that another user may operate the switch through a network via the communicator. Advantageously the other user may only use the appliance when authorized to do so by the local user since without authorization of the local user, the other user cannot switch the power on to the appliance.
Preferably the lockable enclosure comprises a child thwarting unlocking means. Examples include mechanisms which require a button to be pushed in before the enclosure opened before pulling it apart. Advantageously children are discouraged from playing with the plug security cover which may be plugged into mains electricity.
Preferably the lockable enclosure comprises a key lock. Advantageously the plug can be secured and removed from the plug security cover by anyone with a key for the key lock. Preferably a key slot in the lock passes through a surface in the security cover which faces a wall comprising the electrical recess when the tines are inserted into the wall electricity recess. Advantageously the key cannot be inserted into the slot while the plug security cover tines are plugged into the wall electricity recess and in contact with mains electricity. A user is thereby prevented from receiving an electric shock while holding a key in the slot.
Preferably the plug security cover comprises an electrical power converter to convert electricity received through the tines to a voltage, current, and frequency to supply electricity to the to the communicator, switch, local override device, and authorization means. Advantageously the plug security cover operates using mains power and no batteries are required.
Preferably the plug security cover comprises a memory to store biometric data of the local user, and preferably to receive through the network biometric data of a fingerprint or voice and store the data permanently. Biometric data to identify a user can be downloaded to the memory in the plug security cover via the network. A plurality of the plug security covers can receive the biometric data from one device on the network. Advantageously a painstaking task of inputting the user biometric data individually through the fingerprint scanner is avoided and user biometric data can be added to the memory before the user uses the plug security cover for the first time.
Preferably the network communicator is arranged to communicate with the network by transmitting and receiving signals through the electrical tines. Advantageously the network provides both power for operating the memory, network communicator, switch operator and fingerprint operator. Furthermore, wired electrical connection to the tines has an advantage of closed circuit network security.
Preferably the security cover comprises a light emitter projecting light observable when the tines are inserted into the electricity recess, to indicate the communicator is in communication with a network. Advantageously the user has no doubt that the plug security cover is in communication with the network or not in communication with the network.
Preferably the lockable enclosure is formed in a moulded polymeric unit. Advantageously the plug security cover comprises the moulded polymeric unit which is inexpensive to manufacture in large quantities. The polymeric material is an electrical insulator and protects user from electrical shock since the plug of the appliance in the socket is surrounded by the polymeric material.
Preferably the tines are fixed in and protrude from the moulded polymeric unit. Advantageously the plug security cover is rugged.
Preferably the lockable closure comprises the moulded polymeric unit and a closure plate to cover the plug when entrapped in the lockable enclosure. Advantageously the moulded polymeric unit and the closure plate form the enclosure with the plug inside merely by plugging the plug into the socket and then attaching the cover plate over the opposite of the plug from the tines.
Preferably the closure plate is fixed to an electrical circuit comprising the communicator, switch, local override device, and authorization means, and preferably a scanner circuit for the fingerprint reader, and an electrical contact to the moulded polymeric unit. A printed circuit board which is inexpensive to produce in large quantities comprises these components and is easily fixed in the cover plate or attached to a substantially planar side of the closure plate.
Preferably the moulded polymeric unit is fixed to an electrical circuit comprising the communicator, switch, local override device, and electrical circuit portion of the authorization means. Advantageously a contact to a circuit board separated from the polymeric unit in which the plug is inserted is not required as these electrical components are all in the same moulded polymeric unit. Preferably the electrical plug security cover comprises a battery to provide power to the communicator, switch operator, local override device, and authorization means.
According to a second aspect of the invention, there is a method of operating an electrical appliance including inserting the plug of the electrical appliance into the lockable enclosure, entrapping the plug in the lockable enclosure, authorizing the local user with the authorization means, communicating with the electrical plug security cover via the communicator, and connecting and disconnecting the plug to/from the tines only when the user is authorized.
Preferably the method includes plugging the tines of the security cover into the wall electricity recess to supply electricity to the communicator and authorization means.
Preferably the method includes unlocking the lockable enclosure with the local override device and removing the plug from the security cover only when the user is authorized. Preferably the method includes relaying the command signal with the communicator to the switch only when the user is authorized.
In some embodiments the electrical plug security cover is arranged to store details about usage, for example so that a parent can monitor how much time, and at what times, the child is using the device.
The invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
Brief Description of the Figures
Figure 1 is a perspective view of an electrical plug security cover according to the invention with the near surface of the plug security cover being that which faces a wall of a wall electricity recess;
Figure 2 is a perspective view of an electrical plug security cover according to the invention with the near surface being that which faces away from the wall of the wall electricity recess; and
Figure 3 is an exploded view of an electrical plug security cover according to the invention.
Detailed Description ofthe Invention
Referring to the Figures, there is shown an electrical plug security cover 100 comprising: a lockable enclosure 5 for an electrical plug 200, an electrical socket 21 in the enclosure 5 to receive the plug 200. An aperture 22 is formed in a wall of the enclosure 5 into the socket through which an electrical cable 202 passes. The cable 202 extends from the plug 200 to an appliance. The appliance is not shown.
When received in the socket 21, a switch 6 electrically connected intermediate the socket and electrical tines 13, 131, 132 on the exterior of the electrical plug security cover, a wireless network communicator 23, a memory 24 comprising an identification code to identify the security cover on the network and an authorization code, and a switch operator to open and close the switch 6 on receiving the authorization code and an open and a close command through the network communicator 23, a fingerprint reader 15 comprising a touch surface 18 on an exterior portion 20 of the plug security cover accessible while the tines 13, 131, 132 of the plug security cover are plugged in to a wall electricity recess, wherein the fingerprint reader 15 is arranged to override the communicator to open and close the switch.
The electrical plug security cover 100 in Figures 1 and 2 is enclosing an electrical plug and the electrical wire 202 of the plug tails from the aperture. The electrical plug security cover 100 when enclosed around the plug 200 is like that of the plug with the electrical cable of the plug trailing out of the aperture.
The lockable enclosure 5 is a moulded polymeric unit. The electrical socket 21 is formed in a side of the polymeric unit.
The tines 13, 131, 132 extend away from the moulded polymeric unit. A key lock 4 extends through the lockable enclosure 5. The key lock extends to a surface 19 of the plug security cover which faces the wall of the wall electricity recess when the tines are plugged into the wall electricity recess. A slot for a key 42 into the key lock is a slot in the surface 19. A key 1 cannot be inserted into the slot while the electrical plug security cover 100 is plugged into an electrical recess in a wall since the slot faces the wall and is covered by the casings 2, 16. A printed circuit board 10 comprises the network communicator 23, the memory 24, and an electronic scanner 15. The electronic scanner communicates with the switch operator to open and close the switch successively as the scanner recognizes a finger on the touch surface 18.
The printed circuit board 10 is attached to a closure plate 9 by screws 11 which pass through holes in the circuit board located at the corners of the printed circuit board.
The closure plate 9 has two sides. The printed circuit board is attached to one of the sides of the closure plate. The opposite side of the closure plate 9 is joined to the lockable closure 5 with the closure plate 9 covering the socket 21 to enclose the plug 200 inside the electrical plug security cover.
The aperture 22 is formed by a channel in the lockable closure 5 which extends from the exterior of the closure to the socket 21. The electrical cable 202 of the plug is easily put into the channel and covered by the closure plate when the closure plate is joined to the lockable closure 5.
The lockable closure 5 and cover plate 9 are held joined together by a front case 16 and a rear case 2. The front and rear case clip together to encase the lockable closure 5 and closure plate 9. A locking pin 7 connected to closure plate 9 engages with the key lock 4 to hold the closure plate over the socket 21 and thereby lock the plug 200 into the socket 21.
In Figure 3 which is an exploded view, the internal parts of the electrical plug security cover including the lock 4, printed circuit board 10, switch 6, lockable enclosure 5, and closure plate 9 can be seen. The electrical plug 200 can also be seen.
In Figures 1 and 2 which show the electrical plug security cover as ready for use, only the exterior of external parts including the front case 16, the rear case 2, and the tines 13, 131 and 132 can be seen.
The front case 16 comprises a surface which faces away from the wall of the electricity recess. On the surface which faces away there is a window 25 in bezel 12. The window 25 is arranged front of a light emitter on the printed circuit board 10 when the printed circuit board is attached to the closure plate 9 and encased by the front 16 case and rear case 2. Light from the light emitter is observable when the tines 13, 131,132 of the electrical plug security cover are plugged into the wall electricity recess. The light emitter illuminates due to a signal from the wireless network communicator to indicate the communicator is in communication with a network.
In use an electrical appliance attached to the opposite end of the electrical cable 202 as the plug 200 is operated with the electrical plug security cover. The electrical appliance is not shown in the figures.
The electrical plug security cover 100 is operated by inserting the plug 201 of the electrical appliance into the socket 21 of the electrical plug security cover, communicating electrical plug security cover via the network communicator 23 and identifying the electrical plug security cover by the identification code. The electrical plug security cover continues to be operated by opening the switch 6 via a signal transmitted through the network to turn the electrical appliance off and closing the switch via a signal transmitted through the network to turn the appliance on.
The electrical plug security cover is further operated by plugging the tines of the security cover into the wall electricity recess to supply electricity to the communicator, switch operator, and fingerprint reader via the circuit connector 8.
The invention has been described by way of examples only. Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Furthermore, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the claims.

Claims (26)

Claims:
1. An electrical plug security cover for an appliance plug includes: a lockable enclosure which entraps the plug; at least two electrical tines which insert into an electrical recess to connect to an electricity supply; an identification means which identifies the plug security cover in a network; a wireless network communicator which relays a command signal to a switch that operates in response to the command signal to electrically connect and disconnect the plug to/from the tines; a local override device that overrides the command signal; and an authorization means that authorizes a local user, wherein the local override device is operative to connect and disconnect the plug to/from the tines when the user is an authorized user.
2. An electrical plug security cover according to claim 1 comprising an on/off indicator that indicates that the authorization unit has authorized the user and turned the switch on or off to connect or disconnect the plug. .
3. An electrical plug security cover according to claim 1 or 2 wherein the authorization means includes a biometric feature identifier and authorizes the local user only when identified by the biometric feature.
4. An electrical plug security cover according to claim 3 wherein the biometric feature identifier comprises a fingerprint identifier and reader comprising a touch surface on an exterior portion of the security cover accessible while the tines are inserted into the recess.
5. An electrical plug security cover according to claim 3 or 4 wherein the biometric feature identifier comprises a voice identifier and detector comprising a microphone to detect sound through an opening in the security cover while the tines are inserted into the recess.
6. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim, wherein the authorization means includes a keypad on the security cover and authorizes the local user only when identified by a code typed in on the keypad.
7. An electrical plug security cover according to claim 2, 3, 4, or 5 wherein the local override device locks and unlocks the lockable enclosure for entry and removal of the plug from the security cover only when the user is authorized.
8. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim wherein the communicator relays the command signal to the switch only when the user is authorized.
9. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim wherein the lockable enclosure comprises a child thwarting unlocking means.
10. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim wherein the lockable enclosure comprises a lock.
11. An electrical plug security cover according to claim 9 wherein a key slot in the lock passes through a surface in the security cover which faces a wall comprising the electrical recess when the tines are inserted into the wall electricity recess.
12. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim comprising an electrical power converter to convert electricity received through the tines to a voltage, current, and frequency to supply electricity to the communicator, switch, local override device, and authorization means.
13. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim comprising a memory to store biometric data of the local user.
14. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim comprising a memory to store key fob identification data.
15. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim wherein the communicator is arranged to communicate with a network by transmitting and receiving signals through the electrical tines.
16. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim comprising a light emitter observable when the tines are inserted into the electricity recess, to indicate the communicator is in communication with a network.
17. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim wherein the lockable enclosure is formed in a moulded polymeric unit.
18. An electrical plug security cover according to claim 15 where the moulded polymeric unit is fixed to an electrical circuit comprising the communicator, switch, local override device, and an electrical circuit portion of the authorization means.
19. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim in which the tines are fixed in and protrude from the moulded polymeric unit.
20. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim wherein the lockable enclosure comprises a closure plate to cover the plug when entrapped in the lockable enclosure.
21. An electrical plug security cover according to claim 20 wherein the closure plate is fixed to an electrical circuit comprising the communicator, switch, local override device, and authorization means.
22. An electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim comprising a battery to provide power to the communicator, switch, local override device, and authorization means.
23. A method of operating an electrical appliance comprising an electrical plug security cover according to any preceding claim, including inserting the plug of the electrical appliance into the lockable enclosure, entrapping the plug in the lockable enclosure, authorizing the local user with the authorization means, communicating with the electrical plug security cover via the communicator, and connecting and disconnecting the plug to/from the tines only when the user is authorized.
24. A method according to claim 23 including unlocking the lockable enclosure with the local override device and removing the plug from the security cover only when the user is authorized.
25. A method according to claim 23 or 24 including relaying the command signal with communicator to the switch only when the user is authorized.
26. A method according to claim 23, 24, or 25 including plugging the tines of the security cover into a wall electricity recess to supply electricity to the communicator, identification means, and an appliance electrically connected to the plug.
GB1710131.2A 2017-06-26 2017-06-26 Electrical plug security cover Active GB2563836B (en)

Priority Applications (10)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1710131.2A GB2563836B (en) 2017-06-26 2017-06-26 Electrical plug security cover
GB1913711.6A GB2575572B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security cover
JP2019572778A JP2020526176A (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 Electrical safety cover
PCT/IB2018/054698 WO2019003101A1 (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security cover
GB1913710.8A GB2575375B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security socket
GB2015973.7A GB2586407B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security cover
CN201880055235.7A CN111542981A (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 Electric safety cover
EP18756483.6A EP3646429A1 (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security cover
US16/623,761 US10950075B2 (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 Electrical security socket
GB1912964.2A GB2574163C (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical plug

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1710131.2A GB2563836B (en) 2017-06-26 2017-06-26 Electrical plug security cover

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GB201710131D0 GB201710131D0 (en) 2017-08-09
GB2563836A true GB2563836A (en) 2019-01-02
GB2563836B GB2563836B (en) 2020-02-19

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GB1710131.2A Active GB2563836B (en) 2017-06-26 2017-06-26 Electrical plug security cover
GB1912964.2A Active GB2574163C (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical plug
GB2015973.7A Active GB2586407B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security cover
GB1913710.8A Active GB2575375B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security socket
GB1913711.6A Active GB2575572B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security cover

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GB1912964.2A Active GB2574163C (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical plug
GB2015973.7A Active GB2586407B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security cover
GB1913710.8A Active GB2575375B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security socket
GB1913711.6A Active GB2575572B (en) 2017-06-26 2018-06-26 An electrical security cover

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US (1) US10950075B2 (en)
EP (1) EP3646429A1 (en)
JP (1) JP2020526176A (en)
CN (1) CN111542981A (en)
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WO (1) WO2019003101A1 (en)

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US20200134950A1 (en) 2020-04-30
GB2575572B (en) 2020-10-07
GB201913711D0 (en) 2019-11-06
GB2574163B (en) 2020-11-18
GB201710131D0 (en) 2017-08-09
WO2019003101A1 (en) 2019-01-03
JP2020526176A (en) 2020-08-27
GB2574163C (en) 2020-12-23
US10950075B2 (en) 2021-03-16
GB201913710D0 (en) 2019-11-06
GB2575375A (en) 2020-01-08
GB201912964D0 (en) 2019-10-23
GB2575375B (en) 2020-09-02
GB2575572A (en) 2020-01-15
GB2586407A (en) 2021-02-17
GB2563836B (en) 2020-02-19
EP3646429A1 (en) 2020-05-06
GB202015973D0 (en) 2020-11-25
GB2574163A (en) 2019-11-27
CN111542981A (en) 2020-08-14
GB2586407B (en) 2023-05-24

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